Easter is just around the corner and I love to reach into my Easter box to do quick holiday decorating without breaking a sweat. Growing up in Hungary, Easter was always a special time of the year that celebrated the arrival of spring and had strong religious implications. Coloring and ‘writing’ Easter eggs is an art women mastered over the course of years, using organic and natural materials to create the most breathtaking colors and motives.
While my egg decorating skills would not produce anything like these, I have a few simple tricks up in my sleeve that will help you to create your own shabby décor for springtime. I promise you, once you spend just a little bit more time on coloring eggs, you will be pleased to open that ‘Easter’ box year after year.
The first step is blowing out your eggs. I know, this may sound a bit scary but it is actually quite simple. You may crack a few eggs along the way, but hey, you are learning something new so do not give up. Once you have empty eggshells, the limit is the sky to what you can do with them (and you won’t feel bad spending a bit extra time on decorating, unlike with the hard boiled ones that you end up tossing in a few weeks).
Things you need to Blow Eggs:
A pair of small sharp scissors
A very long needle or skewer
First, you want to wash your eggs thoroughly since you are going to put your lips on them to blow the contents out. You will create a small hole on the top and a slightly bigger hole on the bottom. Take your sharp scissors and gently start to ‘drive’ one point into the shell. Turn your tool like a screwdriver until you created a little wear on the shell and continue to gently turn and push in the same time. You will wear a little hole on it. Using scissors allow you to gently enlarge the hole as you are turning the point, making a perfect circle. Don’t worry if your shell cracks and you have a bigger hole (I’ll show you a trick on how to cover it up).
Now you need to do the same on the bottom as well. After creating both holes, take your skewer or long needle and reach into the egg to break up the yolk.
And here comes the not so pleasant part … over a bowl, start to blow through the smaller hole on the top to blow out the contents on the bottom. It will take quite a bit of effort. You know when the shell is empty because it will give a whistling sound. Now you just need to dry them out and let your imagination go wild (oh, and don’t forget to make something yummy out of the contents – gotta love not waste).
If you would like to color your eggs traditionally with beautiful pastels, you would want to do that before you blow them out. It just makes it easier to have the weight of the egg hold itself under the coloring liquid instead of bobbing around and giving you an uneven color. There are so many different cool methods for coloring eggs and the kits you can buy in any stores can be indispensable. Use the wax stick to create motives before you color the eggs, tie die them (one of my favorite), simply drizzle them with paint and glitter …. You know what I mean about the imagination part? (And I have a bunch more if you are interested).
This is how mine came out … I just filled a glass jar with pastel eggs and it made the most colorful touch to the mantle. You can see the tiny holes on the eggs … you know they are real. Fill a basket with them. Hang them up!!
I have a holiday tree in the dining room window that I decorate seasonally. Eggs, butterflies and flowers in the spring, birthday party theme colors, white-red-blue in July, funky colors and textures in the summer, harvest theme in the fall, pumpkins at Halloween, and of course Christmas gets its special touches as well. It is like having a year around Christmas tree that you can hang knick-knacks on and please your eyes and spirit every day, every season. And now that you have super light blown out eggshells, why not put them on your tree? What an excellent way to get your children out. Go on a nature walk and let them help you choose the branches. I set mine in just a metal pot and filled it up with pebbles and small rocks to keep the branches standing up sturdy.
Now back to your egg ornaments. You can make hangers for your eggs out of a piece of colored paper and some thread. Cut tiny circles, flowers or any shape that suits your fancy and will be able to cover the holes on your shells (you see, here is the way you can cover up bigger holes you may have made while blowing your egg).
Before you glue it on the hole, thread pretty string or ribbon into a needle, stitch it through the paper once and tie it off to create the hanger. Now, hiding the knot on the bottom of your paper, put a dab of glue on it and cover the hole. Use coordinating shapes and colors to cover the hole on the bottom as well. Ta-daaa, you have just made an egg ornament. And noooo, you don’t want to stop here, you want to have 10-15 of them to fill up your holiday branch or pretty basket on your dining room table. Once Easter is over, just safely tuck them away in the egg cartons and enjoy the sense of accomplishment next spring when you pull them out again.
Orshi is a teacher at UCIC where she works daily with children. She shows a great love for children as she has three of her own. She also loves Facebook, gardening and baking. She was born and grew up in Hungary.